Adam schirling

by Horror Sleaze Trash on May 22, 2011

“They were standing right there, right next to me!!”I stood and screamed this to the bar. “Where did they fucking go?!” I stumbled back off my barstool, and my head snaps around in disbelief. What fuckin asshole friends. One minute we are all hanging out here drinking shots, I turn my head to scan the beautiful ass of a co-ed chick with a tight pair of daisy dukes riding high, and when I turn around nothing, all gone. I grab the waitress, fear in my eyes and dripping down into my voice, and ask her where my friends went. Quivering with fear, her eyes noticing my large frame size and tattoos, she told me she didn’t know.

Panic fills my heart now. Thick, salty tears roll down my face, running into my matted and greasy beard. I am beyond insane now, breaths are heavy and all senses extended to the point of superhuman levels while I strain these new super senses to catch any evidence of my friends, my closest fucking friends. I burst out in to the street screaming names into the cold wet air.

A heavy hand lands on my shoulder , I turn ready to swing, but only see the giant frame of the bar manager Ryan. “Listen dude”, he says, “get back inside and calm down and we will find your friends”. His statement, while polite and nearly friendly, left no room for insobordination. Still sobbing, I walk back into the bar and sit at the stool ashamed and embarrassed. “WHY WHY WHY WHY” is all I can think. Why would they all ditch me like that, we are the closest friends. The problem plagues me, is making me sick, and I feel on the urge of another meltdown. Instead, I meekly have the bartender, and old High School basketball team mate, to bring me whisky straight. I was so fucking happy to have all the guys come out to the worksite to surprise me out of the blue like that today, it was the greatest of reunions. The day cutting lumber in the thick Pacific Northwest woods had left me exhausted, but seeing the smiling faces of the guys gave me a jolt of instant energy. We piled into my old ‘55 Chevy pickup, and cruised the summer highways, laughing and drinking beers and basking in the glory of youth and twilight through the redwood trees. We decided to pull into the Redneck Roadstop, a joint where I knew we could drink beer, play pool, flirt with cute community college chicks, and get a little twisted. The regulars here will accept my friends; they have certainly earned their right to booze and partake in tomfoolery at such an esteemed location.

But now it has all gone terribly wrong. I just couldn’t see them betraying me for a joke; we have all been through too much for that. The tears came back now, soft sobs, and I buried my head in the bar.

“I don’t get it”, the waitress asks the bartender. “What is he freaking out about? Who the hell is he looking for?”. “You will see in a few minutes, girl. And it won’t be pretty. This happens about once a month and it tears me up to see every time.”

The police made their way into the door, and come up to me on the bar. “Hey, son. How you doing tonight?” the big one, clearly in charge asks me. “ They say you have a missing group. Maybe we can help. Give us their names and info, and we will if we can’t turn them up, OK?”

His voice was comforting and I nodded slowly. “Please just find my friends”, I pleaded softly.

After about 25 mins the cop comes back into the bar, sits next to me, and orders a local draft. “Well, Val, we found your friends. ‘Toby’ or more actually Lance Corporal Tobias Jackson was killed in action November 12 in Fallujah, Iraq. ‘Nick’ or Lance Corporal Nicholas Anderson killed in action November 15 in Fallujah, Iraq. And ‘Stan” or Sergeant Stanley Moreau committed suicide3 weeks after they got back from that deployment…..But you know that, don’t you Val, because you were there for all them to die. You saw it with your own eyes the life spill out onto the sands. So they aren’t here with you tonight.”

My mind exploded in flashes of red and yellows. A scream unleashed from my throat that sounded like an animal of the very depths of hell. I shot up screaming in disbelief, calling them all liars, before throwing my beer bottle against the ground and storming out yelling insane babbles into the dark night, leaving behind me a crowd of gawking and terrified onlookers.

The bartender went to the cop, and saw tears streaming from behind the cop thick glasses. “That’s the 3rd time this month, Sherriff. When he comes in smiling saying his friend are with him, we just give him the farthest booth and hope he stays quiet.” The Sherriff’s shoulders shook with the sobs. “I don’t know why my boy sees them, he just does. He is supposed to go talk to the shrinks at the veterans hospital, but he refuses” The cop gets up with a sigh, quickly pours the shot of whiskey his son left on the bar, and goes into the night in search of his only boy, who is most likely hiding in a drainage tunnel by now, chugging cheap booze in a plastic bottle, with his body shaking and howling hatred into the night air.

The bartender locks up the door and hits the lights and walks away, closed for the night after the incident. The last thing seen by both men driving out of the lot is the American flag hanging above the door, moving gently with the cool evening breeze.

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